Dick Monahan could well have been one of the most influential and consequential AQHA presidents ever.
“Dick was about as involved as you could possibly be in this industry,” says Brenda Monahan, who married Dick in 1967. “He was a director for years. before he was ever on the Executive Committee.”
The American Quarter Horse, the Quarter Horse industry and AQHA woke up just a bit poorer on the day after Christmas 2009, when AQHA Second Vice President Dick Monahan died of myeloid leukemia and pancreatic cancer at age 69.
An attorney in Walla Walla, Washington, Dick was president of the Northern Racing Quarter Horse Association in 1987-93 and served 20 years as an AQHA director from Washington. In 2006, he became a director-at-large and the following year was elected to the AQHA Executive Committee, all this after chairing the racing committee, racing council and the nominations and credentials committee, and serving on the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame Committee.
“Dick was a great friend of AQHA and a tireless promoter of American Quarter Horses,” says Don Treadway Jr., who was AQHA Executive Vice President at the time of Monahan’s passing. “Dick generously gave of his time and talents to AQHA, and I know he would have made an excellent president of our association. He looked forward to the challenges of the position.”
Dick and Brenda raised and raced Quarter Horses for more than 30 years, and in the name of their Spring Creek Farms bred stakes winners The Cartel, Sleek Sheik and A Femme Fatale.
“He had the fever, and not just for racing,” Brenda says. “He got the fever for the animal. He really loved his horses. We had some success. But it wasn’t about whether we were successful. He loved the game. He loved the sport.”
“Getting into the horse business is the best thing that has happened to us,” Dick said when elected to the Executive Committee. “The people we have met, I wouldn’t take anything for it. We haven’t had the success that a lot of people have, but we’ve sure had a good time along the way.”
Monahan was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2017.
Biography updated as of March 2017.